Pennsylvania state lawmaker rips GOP members for silence after testing positive for coronavirus

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A Pennsylvania state representative went on a profanity-laced tirade against Republican colleagues who tested positive for COVID-19 and remained silent.  

Wednesday, state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat from Philadelphia, released a near-12-minute Facebook video calling out GOP members who have been pushing to reopen the state and accusing them of undermining the seriousness of the novel coronavirus.  

“Every single day of this crisis, this State Government Committee in Pennsylvania has met so that their members could line up one after one after one and explain that it was safe to go back to work,” Sims said in the video. “During that time period, they were testing positive. They were notifying one another. And they didn’t notify us.” 

This week, coronavirus deaths exceeded 100,000 nationwide and 5,200 in Pennsylvania.  

In the video, Sims said Democratic leaders became aware of at least one Republican member of the House of Representatives who tested positive for COVID-19 and remained working in the Capitol for at least one week.  

Sims criticized Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County for self-quarantining for weeks without telling Democratic colleagues. Diamond has been a leading advocate for reopening the state. 

“Of course, he didn’t explain that to any of us when he was in committee talking with us, walking up and down the aisle, bumping into us or letting us hold the door for him, ” Sims said.  

Diamond took to Twitter to respond to Sims, citing guidelines for quarantine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

“I’m in a building surrounded by members who cannot go back to their families,” Sims said. “I need to know if it is safe for us to be back in this building.” 

Sims called for Attorney General Josh Shapiro to launch an investigation of GOP members who tested positive and participated in self-quarantining without notifying their Democratic colleagues.